Why Did I Wait so Long? – by Richard Vaughn

Stephen Minister Richard Vaughn reflects on his Stephen Ministry experience.  To me being a Stephen Minister means being open to the needs of someone else. The training you receive is incredible, though each care receiver has very different needs and it is a learning and growing experience to connect with them. Being a Stephen minister has cha...
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God Equips the Called

a reflection by Stephen Ministry Co-Leader, Detra Swenson.  I did not choose to be a Stephen minister. God called me. I reminded him that Stephen ministry is a listening ministry and I am not a good listener. He reminded me that he does not call the qualified; he qualifies the called. And so he did—50 hours of training plus continuing educatio...
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An Introduction to Messiah's three-month Discernment Process

A Message from the members of the Church Leadership Team (CLT)  |   (Updated (02.10.2017) with meeting dates for all members of the congregation. See below.) Dear Fellow Messiah Members,  You may already be aware that the Church Leadership Team (CLT) is entering a discernment process about whether to move toward a dedicated Mess...
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God is the Cure Giver

by Stephen Minister Marilyn Mattson   God works though us, like conduit, as we walk beside, listen to, have empathy, and pray confidentially on a one-to-one basis with one who needs hope and/or healing . The growth and help is left to God.He is the cure giver. The gift we receive as Stephen Ministers is to grow in our own faith, be better...
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Sydney Tag, Messiah Confirmation Student, Reflects on where she's seen God’s Stewardship – Every Day, Every Way.

When I was in sixth grade, our confirmation group went to Lapwai Idaho. We spent a week serving this wonderful community, and had an amazing time doing it. At the beginning of the week, we spent time getting to know the kids. These kids didn't have all the needs we have. Some of them didn't have shoes, and almost all of them were covered in dirt. O...
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The Gift of Stephen Ministry - by Dianne Dawson

In this season of gifts and giving I am grateful for the gift of Stephen Ministry. Stephen Ministry is a gift to the congregation, to those who are sad, who may be grieving a loss or facing a difficult time in their lives. A Stephen minister walks beside the care receiver through a time of sadness and helps them by listening. What a gift it is to h...
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Stewardship as Defiance by Mary Beenken, Pastoral Intern

And every day in the temple and at home they did not cease to teach and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah . - Acts 5:42   Despite the overtones of danger in the story preceeding this year's stewardship theme verse, Acts 5:42 conjures for me the image of a celebration—of people rejoicing as their numbers grow, full to bursting with joy and eag...
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Neighborly Steward–Every Day, Every Way - a reflection by Doug Ruecker

This past summer a former neighbor of ours passed away. When I reflect on my memories of Pat, my first thoughts are of his genuine generosity and kindness. I often bragged that I had the best neighbor a homeowner could ever have. Pat was the ultimate Mr. Fix-it. He had so many tools in his shop that I didn't know the name for half of them or how th...
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The Light of Christ

by Stephen Minister Jim Swenson     ​ Sometimes an experience of truth gets put into words that affirm my experience. The light of Christ lives within each of us. Stephen ministry is the communication with Christ that happens between the care giver and the care receiver. A question came to mind: Is the light of Christ brought to the ...
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Stewards: Every day. Every way. - See the Videos

View all the stewardship testimonials shown during worship here, and be inspired in your stewardship over everything that God has given to you manage: your money, your time, your skills. Many thanks to Mary Beenken and Nathan Johnson, Jon and Kris Ann Bial, Victor and Brooke Enriquez, Tom and Cathy Haywood, and Rod and Beth Ludvigsen. Thank you for prayerfully considering and making your pledge of financial support for the mission and ministries of Messiah in 2017. If you need new or additional materials to make your pledge, please contact  Doug Ruecker, Financial Secretary . Mary Beenken & Nathan Johnson Jon & Kris Ann Bial Victor & Brooke Enriquez Tom & Cathy Haywood Rod & Beth Ludvigsen    
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Stewards: Every day. Every way. - a reflection by Shari King

Shari King, mom, wife, self-employed worker, and Church Leadership Team member, shares a story about how a sermon heard years ago has influenced her stewardship practices and planning. When my husband, Dennis, and I were newly married, we sometimes visited a little church in our small town. I remember one sermon in particular when the pas...
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More Reflections on the Guatemala Mission Trip

by Columbia River HS student, Sean Marble    While in Guatemala, our eyes were opened to the living conditions and lives of a large portion of the population on this earth. In our developed nation, we do not have very much exposure to the way the poorer parts of our world live. According to the UN in 2010, 1.2 billion people live in ...
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Radical Pope. Radical God. Radical Church.

by summer intern Austin Krohnke | As my summer at Messiah Lutheran Church comes to a close, I reflect upon the first days of a similar journey from a year ago in which I also learned so much about ministry. Sitting down to eat dinner at my new home for the next three months, I was ecstatic. Here I was in Costa Rica, knowing not a soul in the countr...
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Reflections on the Guatemala Mission Trip

by Tori Beavin. Tori is a sophomore at Whitworth University in Spokane.   Being in Guatemala for a little more than a week, 15 others and I were able to briefly immerse ourselves in the culture and get a glimpse of what life is like for people living in a few different areas of Guatemala. I feel so blessed to have been a part of this miss...
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Our Infuriating God

by summer intern Miriam Hanson -  "Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised." – Hebrews 10:35-36 In the weeks leading up to my time at Messiah, and even in the first few days here, I anticipated that this ...
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Are We All Like That? Really?

by guest contributor Mark Hundley, Messiah member and North Campus attender. For most of my life, being a churchgoing Christian was held in high regard. Today, not so much. What’s happened? For the most part, the mainstream media shapes today’s public opinion, and there’s not much doubt that it has not been kind to churchgoing Christians over the past several years. The Bad News Bad news, tragedy, scandal, and other negative and inflammatory things are what sells today. That’s what we’re fed by the mainstream media because that’s what sells. Truth be told, there’s been no shortage of that type of story as available fodder for the media. We can read about church scandals, ultra conservative exclusionary practices, homophobia, and no room allowed for wondering or questioning about the churches dogma. It’s likely that many of these stories are true. Taken together, it paints a pretty bad picture of churchgoing...
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North County Campus News: The Incarnation, a North County Meeting, and More

Merry Tenth Day of Christmas! I hope that you all have had a restful and fulfilling celebration of the 12 Days of Christmas, and a wonderful start to the New Year! As we continue our journey through Christmas, one of the big ideas that we think about is the Incarnation. It’s part of the readings of the season, including today’s gospel passage, “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, NRSV). The incarnation is this notion that the eternal and infinite God came down to this earth in the finite and first-century Jesus of Nazareth. That’s an important thing to remember, and it also has implications for who we are as the church. God comes to us as one of us. God breaks into the world through the...
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North County Campus News: Christmas, Communion and Prayer

written and compiled by Timothy Siburg, Messiah North County Mission Developer One of the things you may not know about North County is that communion is done a bit differently here. Communion is served each week, like it is done at every weekend service at Messiah’s Hazel Dell campus. What makes it unique at North County is that the whole worshipping congregation takes the meal together in one line spread across the room. It’s like a whole bunch of people all around one table at the same time. Everyone gathers in the line and receives the sacrament, and then stays until everyone else has received it and then are blessed and dismissed back to our seats in peace. That’s usually how it works, anyway. This past Sunday we did something a little differently, but something I have come to learn is not outside the norm for North County. Instead of...
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North County Campus News: Go Tell It on the Mountain

written and compiled by Timothy Siburg, Messiah North County Mission Developer.  Go Tell it on the Mountain   Confession time. I grew up in the church choir loft. That probably explains a bit about me. Because of that, and because I grew up with a mom who served as a music minister, I also grew up without much of a choice about learning to sing and playing music on piano (and other instruments). My first solo was on “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” sung on Christmas morning as the anthem on Christmas Day at my home church. You might have figured this out by now, I love jazz and spirituals because of the rhythm, the fun, the emotion, and the energy. There’s another thing about this song in particular though that sits with me this year. As I am working as a mission developer, part of my role is to...
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North County News: Telling the Story of Messiah's North County Campus

written and compiled by Timothy Siburg, Messiah North County Mission Developer.  Who is Timothy and what is he doing? Good question. Lately I have been hearing from some of you that you would like to know more about me, as well as some of the work I am doing. If we haven’t met yet, I am Timothy Siburg, and I’m serving as the half-time mission developer for Messiah Lutheran Church North County this year while my wife Allison serves as the congregation’s pastoral intern. I grew up in Poulsbo and graduated from PLU in Tacoma in 2009 with majors in economics and religion. I decided I liked learning so much that I added two masters degrees in Management and Congregational Mission and Leadership, and have been working since grad school in congregations and nonprofits doing work related to leadership development, mission cultivation, worship and music, social media, and stewardship. Every...
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The ELCA and the Tragedy in Charleston

by The Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the ELCA   June 18, 2015   It has been a long season of disquiet in our country. From Ferguson to Baltimore, simmering racial tensions have boiled over into violence. But this ... the fatal shooting of nine African Americans in a church is a stark, raw manifestation of the sin that is racism. The church was desecrated. The people of that congregation were desecrated. The aspiration voiced in the Pledge of Allegiance that we are “one nation under God” was desecrated. Mother Emanuel AME’s pastor, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, was a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, as was the Rev. Daniel Simmons, associate pastor at Mother Emanuel. The suspected shooter is a member of an ELCA congregation. All of a sudden and for all of us, this is an intensely personal tragedy. One of our own is alleged to have...
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Real Struggle Marks Us For Life

by guest blogger and Messiah member, Dr. Julie Bracken  I am the only child of northern European parents. My dad was an engineer at Boeing in Seattle; my mom was a stay-at-home mother. My dad was raised Methodist, but didn't attend. My mom was a strong, quiet Lutheran woman who took me to church every Sunday. Our life when I was young was comfortable, both financially and personally. In 1970, when I was fourteen years old, my mother died suddenly of a brain aneurysm; the cause of her death I only found out years later. My father was destroyed by the loss. He couldn't talk to me about what had happened, or what would happen in the future. He arranged to have women from mom's church come in the next day, even before the funeral, and remove all of my mom's clothes and many of her personal belongings. It was...
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